Winnebago County ordinance could displace family pet

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WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) -- Three years ago the Babcock family adopted a new member to the family. They brought home the bacon, and now they may be forced to give up their pet pig.

"Our goal is just to keep our family together," Aharon Babcock said.

One of the Babcock family pets is Eleanor Pigsby, and she has become a vital part of their home.

"It's been an interesting journey,” Holly Babcock said.

“I mean she was raised with our dogs, so she's more of a dog then a pig when it comes down to it," Aharon Babcock said.

Not everyone has the opportunity to adopt a pig. When Aharon and Holly found out about Eleanor, they couldn’t say no.

"She showed us the litter she had and I was specifically drawn to Elanor because of her marking," Holly Babcock said.

When the Babcock’s adopted Eleanor, she was as small as a hamster. Now Eleanor is near 100 pounds, as she grew in size she grew on her family.

"When she's walking she just kind of like heh heh heh heh heh," Holly Babcock said.

In Winnebago County, where the Babcock's live, ordinances do not allow people who live in residential areas to own pigs. Just over a week ago the family received a notice that they have two month to find Eleanor a new home, or face fines.

"We don't want to be the ones to give her a bad name,” Holly Babcock said. “It's not fair to Eleanor. She's a wonderful pet if people would just give her a chance."

County officials say they were responding to a call from a neighbor when they discovered Eleanor in the Babcock home. The family could fight to change the ordinance, but County officials say this is a process that could take four to six months.

"Currently, pigs are not allowed in that area and we seek compliance. By allowing the pig, we would be going against the county ordinance. We would like them to abate the violation and then seek an amendment, if they choose to do so," Troy Krupp said.

"We're willing to work and do anything to keep Ellie,” Aharon Babcock said.